Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

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jdart3000
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Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by jdart3000 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:53 pm

I wanted to get some opinions to clarify a couple of measures in Philip Houghton's "Red Goldfish." In measure 5 (see Houghton-034.jpg) his annotation shows to play the bass E a little before the harmonic E. In measure 11 (see Houghton-035.jpg) there's the same "x" with the chord cluster right before the chord. I have been playing it in the same way as in measure 5, but playing the entire chord a little before the harmonic chord. Is this correct? I just wanted to get some opinions.

Thank you,
John
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Re: Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by Lovemyguitar » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:34 pm

The "x" usually denotes playing "tambora" (striking the strings, rather than plucking them). In the first measure, it is because of the tie on the low E that you play it just before the harmonic, while the "x" seems to indicate that the E should be played tambora. For the double harmonics (the ones with the "x" still are in harmonic notation, with the diamond-shaped dots), I assume he wants you to play the first one tambora (and presumably softly, since it is in smaller font), just before playing its twin normally (and with a bit of emphasis, since the second one has an accent). That's how'd I'd read it.

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Re: Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by mainterm » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:09 pm

I don't see an "x" - I see instead traditional notation for grace notes: a reduced notehead size and stem/flag with a slash through it.

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Re: Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:51 pm

As the post above, I see no 'x'. The confusion surely is what to do with the harmonic chords. The principle of a grace note is that it is crushed up against the main beat, unless the tempo is really slow, in which case the grace note can have a bit more noticeable duration. With a chord like that, depending on tempo (tell us please!) on the face of it its two chords played really quickly one before the other. The grace note sized chords should aim to be lighter and softer than the following, so maybe a quick up/down flick of one finger. Personally I'd track the composer down and ask directly. He's explained the obvious (the footnote to the first excerpt) but not the tricky one.
Looking at YT produced videos of people eating goldfish so that's not too promising!
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Re: Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by Lovemyguitar » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:10 pm

Oh, I see now what the others are saying about the "x", which, now that they mention it, is not an "x" but the tail of the note with a slash through it, thus a grace note, as they say. Sorry about that, but it is not a very clear score, being half hand-written, which made it look like rather messy "x"s!

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Re: Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by Rasqeo » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:26 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:51 pm
Personally I'd track the composer down and ask directly.
Unfortunately Philip passed away very recently.

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Re: Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:02 pm

Rasqeo wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:26 am
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:51 pm
Personally I'd track the composer down and ask directly.
Unfortunately Philip passed away very recently.
Oh crumbs! - well I did check, his website and some other online info made no mention of that :(
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Re: Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by jdart3000 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:53 pm

Thank you all for your responses. Yes - looking again more closely, I see that it's not an X at all! I apologize for the mistake. It makes the most sense to play the two chords quickly, with the first being played softer, as Stephen Kenyon suggested. The tempo for that section is marked Adagio (quarter note=58).
John
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Re: Houghton's "Red Goldfish" question

Post by pogmoor » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:06 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:02 pm
Oh crumbs! - well I did check, his website and some other online info made no mention of that :(
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